Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Runs Over Sunbather on St. Pete Beach

A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy sent a sunbathing soman to the hospital after running her over with his SUV while she sunbathed. The woman was taking in the sun on St. Pete Beach at the time of the accident.

The injured sunbather has been identified as 23-year-old Robin Diffenderfer. The deputy who drove over the sunbather has been identified as Todd Brien. Brien has been with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for over 10 years, according to officials with that agency.

Prior to motoring over the sunbather on St. Pete Beach, the deputy had been talking to pedestrians on the beach at that time. While at that location, Deputy Brien received a dispatch that he needed to respond to some type of 911 emergency call at a different location. It was at this time that he started his assigned SUV and began to drive away. He ran over Diffenderfer at this time.

Diffenderfer was enjoying herself in an appropriate are of the beach and in a proper manner. There is no indication that she had done anything wrong which somehow caused or contributed the accident.

The extent of Diffenderfer’s injuries is not precisely known at this time. What is known is that they are not deemed life-threatening. By the weekend, it is likely that she has been released from the hospital.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office did issue a statement not long after the latest Florida beach accident occurred. The statement reads:

Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team are conducting a deputy-involved crash investigation in St. Pete Beach.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at approximately 1:08 p.m., deputies responded to 4450 Gulf Boulevard on St. Pete Beach for a vehicle versus pedestrian crash.

Investigators say Deputy Brien was on beach patrol behind 4450 Gulf Boulevard and was parked facing west in his 2017 fully Marked Chevrolet Tahoe. While Deputy Brien was speaking to several pedestrians on the beach, he was dispatched to a 911 hang up call at another location.

Deputy Brien made a right turn from his parked position, when he struck 23-year-old Robin Diffenderfer while she was lying on her back in the sand. According to investigators, the front driver side tire of the Tahoe drove over Diffenderfer’s right side and mid to upper back area.

Diffenderfer sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital. Deputy Brien was not injured.

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